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The Great Dictator meets Inception

Hans Zimmer’s Inception score makes for a stirring backdrop to Charlie Chaplin’s climactic speech from The Great Dictator (1940).

Hans Zimmer’s Inception score makes for a stirring backdrop to Charlie Chaplin‘s climactic speech from The Great Dictator (1940).

Chaplin’s first talking picture was ahead of its time: a stirring condemnation of Hitler and facism, it was initially banned by the UK government due to the appeasement policy with Nazi Germany, although later became a hit, partly due to its wartime propaganda value.

There were many odd parallels between Chaplin and Hitler: both were born in April 1889, Chaplin’s Tramp character and Hitler had a similar moustache and both struggled in poverty before reaching global fame.

Chaplin’s son later described how his father was haunted by the similarities:

“Their destinies were poles apart. One was to make millions weep, while the other was to set the whole world laughing. Dad could never think of Hitler without a shudder, half of horror, half of fascination.”

The film was bold in its ridicule of Nazism and its depiction of an anti-Semitic authoritarian regime.

Watch this appreciation by The New Yorker’s Richard Brody from earlier this year:

In addition to writing, directing and producing, Chaplin played the titular dictator ‘Adenoid Hynkel’ (a thinly-veiled¬†substitute¬†for Adolf Hitler) and a look-alike Jewish barber persecuted by the regime.

At the climax of the film, the two have swapped positions and Chaplin directly addresses the audience in a speech which denounces facism, greed and intolerance in favour of liberty and human brotherhood.

A YouTube user DerPestmann had the idea of combining it with Hans Zimmer‘s epic track Time from the Inception score.

See what you think:

> Find out more about The Great Dictator at the IMDb, Wikipedia and Criterion
> Buy The Great Dictator on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon
> Buy the Inception score from Amazon UK or iTunes

By Ambrose Heron

Editor of FILMdetail